Manipulation of indictment

Notion(s) Filing Case
Decision on Referral - 11.07.2007 LUKIĆ & LUKIĆ

13. The Appeals Chamber further rejects the Appellant’s claim that manipulation of the Indictment by the Prosecution justifies a different approach in this case.  The Appeals Chamber need not address whether or not such manipulation, if proved, would justify a different approach, because here the Appellant fails to offer any credible evidence of manipulation.  In the absence of support for an assertion of manipulation, “the Appeals Chamber takes it for granted that the Prosecution would not seek to influence the proceedings in such a way that by [changing] the charges alleged, this Tribunal would have decided the referral request differently.”

17. […] In the present case, the Appeals Chamber is of the view that the fact that the Prosecution may now possess some evidence suggesting that the Appellant was also involved in the events of Srebrenica is not enough, standing alone, to raise concerns that the Prosecution has withheld charges against the Appellant in order to promote referral.

[1] The crimes charged in the two versions of the Indictment remain the same, although the Second Amended Indictment provides more details with regard to the factual allegations supporting these charges. While the Second Amended Indictment does provide more specific dates with regard to the factual allegations and does limit the geographic location of the crimes to within the municipality of Višegrad, these changes do not give rise to an inference of manipulation.  In this regard, the Appeals Chamber notes that (1) the changes with respect to dates and geographic location primarily clarify rather than limit the specific factual allegations, as the only reference in the specific charges of the Indictment to events outside the Višegrad municipality occurred in the very general allegation of persecution, see Indictment, paras 19-20; and (2) the Second Amended Indictment provides more information with regard to the Appellant’s leadership role in the White Eagles, see Second Amended Indictment paras 1, 31, a point which cuts against the Appellant’s claim that the Second Amended Indictment sought to minimize his level of responsibility.  The Appeals Chamber also notes that the Trial Chamber rejected a claim by Sredoje Lukić that similar amendments to the Indictment implied manipulation.  See Decision Granting Prosecution’s Motion to Amend Indictment and Scheduling Further Appearance, 11 February 2006, para. 13.

[2] Prosecutor v. Gojko Janković, Case No. IT-96-23/3-AR11bis.2, Decision on Rule 11bis Referral, 15 November 2005 (“Janković Appeal Decision on Referral”), para. 25.

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